How to Get Paid Being You

One of the main attractions of monetizing your expertise is that it allows you greater personal freedom and the possibility to make a living being you. Yes, people buy your know-how but just as important is your personality, (i.e. your personal brand). In short, prospective customers effectively pay you for being you.

Be intentionally unique

  1. Embrace your personality. Your personality is no small afterthought. It can play a major role as to why customers choose to follow you, listen to you and buy your products. Think, why do you prefer certain actors above others? Why do you rate certain business people over their competitors? Lots of people can act; lots of people excel at business – it’s not just a question of technical skill or know-how. You are drawn to particular people for their personality; they share similar values to you; you find them personable. The world of business can be impersonal and fake – an authentic, sincere personality is a welcome breath of fresh air. Don’t hide who you are; don’t dilute your message; don’t try to fit in – this is to deny your personality. When it comes to monetizing your know-how, your personality is integral to your success so use it to your advantage.
  2. Write in your own voice – literally. A good way to find your own writing voice is literally through your own voice. Speaking your words out loud, followed by writing them down can genuinely help you identify any gaps in what you’re trying to express and to find your own style. You can edit for conciseness afterwards. (Alternatively, consider producing video content – it’s the perfect way to capture your personality). A speech-to-text app can be of real help to you here, saving you time.
  3. Don’t fuss about the rules. Spelling and proper grammar are important but the most important thing is that your personality and unique approach shines through your posts. Don’t waste time being anxious about proper spelling and grammar while you are writing – you will have an opportunity to do so at the editing stage. If your writing style is conversational, don’t try to turn it into something too academic, and vice versa. (We often break rules of grammar deliberately to communicate more naturally).
  4. Write about what you know. Writing about things you’re good at is an excellent confidence boost and that confidence shines through in everything you produce. Content related to what you know, are passionate about, and consider yourself to be an expert in, can serve very well as a reflection of your personality and, in addition, your personal brand. This would definitely be of great help with building trust with your audience, and establishing your authority on the market.
  5. Don’t try to imitate others. Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery but you should be looking to make your own unique path in your chosen industry. Mimicking a style of a writer that you admire is, of course, nothing new (and it’s a good starting point) but your audience wants to read you, not someone else. All the main influencers found their own voice – Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk, James Altucher and so on. Finding your unique style of writing can take time, and looking to others for inspiration can be a big part of it, but the only way to move past the mimicking stage is to consistently write as yourself. Eventually, your own unique writing style will emerge and you’ll have the chance to establish it further by posting more and listening to feedback.
  6. Take the time to develop your voice. Developing your unique voice won’t happen overnight. In fact, very few of the experts you look up to had the presence you know them for now. It comes with time, practice and continually putting content out into the world. Finding your voice is an organic process – like growing a plant – and rushing the process never works. Celebrate all the unique quirks, skills and experience that you possess. They are an integral part of the you that’s going to be reflected in your presence. Remember that your personality extends to your writing, audio, video and live appearahces. It’s worth taking the time to nurture and develop it.

Takeaway points

  1. Don’t shy away from who you are. Your personality, your  expertise and your quirks are the very reason your target audience would want to come to you and not to somebody else.
  2. Writing about what you know in a way that is natural to you is a great shortcut to developing your own unique presence.
  3. If you produce content consistently and over time, eventually your unique voice will get establish itself.

Action steps

  1. Keep a private video journal for the next month. Simply record yourself talking about a topic your knowledgeable about. Keep the recordings to look back on. Yes, it may feel awkward and uncomfortable – good – that means you’re going to see big improvements. The more you practice communicating your thoughts and ideas, the more your personality and voice will come through.
  2. Make a list of your positive personality traits. These are the ones you’ll want to develop and make an integral part of your voice. Resist the temptation to be something you’re not; the traits that come naturally to you will be enough to build your brand on.
  3. Start a blog on your site and write 500 words once a week. That’s a realistic goal. Writing is a great way to find your voice; to crystallize your ideas and what you stand for; and to be an influencer in your industry.

Photo credit: wilson severino via / CC BY-SA 2.0

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